Introduction on how to start Goat Farming In Nigeria: What is Goat Farming? Goat farming is defined as the rearing of different goat breeds or a single goat breed for commercial purposes, in a confined environment, or an expanse of land. Generally, the goat is a multi-use animal. In the different parts of the world, goat is raised for meat, wool, milk, and leather. In Nigeria, goats have unique characteristic features that make it easy for them to thrive in any environmental condition. Also, these features contribute to the ability of these animals to tolerate any climate. For example, goats have tough skin coats to withstand high-temperature levels and cold, and they are good scavengers. In the Nigerian agricultural market, goat farming (domestic and commercial) make up a healthy portion of the market share. Goatskin can be mainly used to make shoes, bags, belts, and other leather-based materials. In this article we also covered the below topics about goat farming in Nigeria;
- Cost of starting a goat farm business in Nigeria
- The process to start a goat farming
- Requirements for starting a goat farm in Nigeria
- How many types of goats do we have in Nigeria
- Challenges of goat farming in Nigeria
- Goat farming business plan in Nigeria
- Which goat breed is best for farming in Nigeria
- What are the nutrients needed for goats
A guide on How to Start Goat Farming In Nigeria, Goat Farm Set Up and Breeds in Nigeria
Importance of Goat Farming in Nigeria
- Commercial goat farming in Nigeria is very popular in the northern part than in the southern part. This will need relatively low capital and it will bring us great profit.
- In Nigeria, most local people consume goat meat daily as an integral part of their usual menu, making this a required type of meat. To create opportunities for self-employment to human resources, youths, and women and to enhance their self-respect through appropriate management.
- To increase income generation by adopting scientific goat farming in traditional approaches.
- Goat meat demand is an increasing trend in Nigeria.
- The goat farming business in Nigeria is growing at a higher rate as compared to other agriculture-related enterprises. It gives a handsome return on investment.
- Goat farming business requires relatively low capital but yields high profits.
- It can be a great source for earning extra income for the business.
- Goat farming business commercially can help to eradicate poverty from Nigeria.
- Goats are easy to feed and manage as they need minimal supervision. Also, they reproduce a lot which means continuity for your business.
Benefits of Goat Farming In Nigeria
People keep in mind there are different objectives for commercial goat farming business; either for meat production, milk production, or breeding. The goat farming business has proven to have economic and social benefits. Below are some of the benefits;
- The weather and climate conditions of Nigeria are very suitable for goat farming.
- For human consumption, goat produces high-quality meat and milk. And goat products have a great demand in Nigeria.
- People of any profession can establish goat business with their current job. Because goat farming doesn’t need much labor.
- For starting a goat farming business in Nigeria the initial investment is less compared to other businesses.
- In goat farming, housing, feeding, caring and other management costs are less.
- In Nigeria, the goat farming business commercially has a great return of investment ratio (ROI). That means you will get good returns of total capital or investment within a year or two years. Good profit starts from the 2nd year of starting goat farming in Nigeria.
- The goat farming business in Nigeria gives the people economic freedom.
- The main advantages of the goat farming business are animal’s adaptability to almost any climate condition.
- Goats can be sold at any time and helped to meet the needs of cash by raising goats.
- Return in a short time – As the goats can give birth to more than one kid at a time, and 3 times in about 2 years, it makes quicker income in a short time with low investment.
- Rearing goats for milk and wool – Many people raising goats mainly for meat. But, with appropriate climate and management practices, goat farming can be done for milk and wool.
- Goat meat is widely eaten in every home since is low in cholesterol and rich in fatty acid.
- The Goat requires low maintenance as compared to others.
- It generates income for direct owners, the government, meat sellers, and butchers.
- Goat farming is a low investment and high-profit business.
- Rearing goats for business in Nigeria creates direct and indirect employment for the youths.
- Goat is a multi-purpose animal producing quality meat, milk, manure, and fiber.
- Goat produces natural manure used in the organic farming business.
Business Opportunities in Goat Farming
Goat Meat Production – There is high demand for goat meat because fat is absent. Goat meat demand is also high during festive periods.
Diary Production – Diary products ranging from yogurt, milk, and cheese can be processed from goats, although this is not a common practice in Nigeria.
Wool Production – Wool production is not a common practice in Nigeria, but this is an opportunity if the wool can be extracted and exported to other countries or sold to clothing companies, which would bring in more profit.
Plans for Setting up a Goat Farm in Nigeria
The best steps to start planning for the startup of a goat farm in Nigeria are given below;
- Plan for a place to rear the goats – This is an important point to start with. If you have vacant land or location, then you can use that for a start.
- Determine what goat species to rear some breed of goats grow faster and bigger than others. To start a profitable goat farm, it is advisable to go for a quality and healthy breed of goat.
- Check for the price of kids – Raising goats to start from buying the kids and check out the latest prices of kids base on their species.
- Plan for how to feed the goats – Feeding goat is not expensive as feeding other animals. Goat can feed grasses and poultry feed. But it is advisable to get a unique goat feed for goats.
Types of Goat Breeds
Dairy breeds – These goat breeds include Alpine, Nubian, Nigerian dwarf, LaManchas, Oberhasli, and Saanen goats. Such goat breeds have a long lactation period and can give from 5 to 8 liters of milk per day. Milk Goat milk is a highly nutritious product that is beneficial to both adults and children. Goat milk can be taken as a basis for making dairy products like goat cheese. The amount of milk depends on the types of goats and the best ones can produce up to 4 liters of milk per day.
Meat breeds – These include Spanish, Boer, Kiko, Beetal, and Tennessee. These animals have large body mass, and they can gain weight very quickly. Goat meat is highly nutritious and it is rich in fatty acids and differs from the meat of other animals as it has a lower amount of cholesterol.
Wool breeds – The important wool breeds are Angora, Pygora, and Cashmere. Goat wool quality is high, so it is highly valued in enterprises. Goat wool is used mainly in the production of fabrics, carpets, and knitwear. Some types of goats like cashmere give the valuable kind of wool. Compared to sheep wool, goat fly-wool products are lightweight and soft.
Goat Breeds in Nigeria
It is very important to know the right goat breed before starting goat farming in Nigeria. There are a huge variety of goat breeds however only a few are ideal for tropical regions. Choose fast-growing species that are highly adaptable and require less feeding. Select native species common to the region because they are hardy, highly adaptable to that environment.
The three goat breeds in Nigeria are Sahelian(Sh), Red Sokoto (RS), and West African Dwarf (WAD). Other Common Goat Breeds in Nigeria are;
- Pygmy Goats
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These goats have short fine coats that can be white, black, red or spotted. At maturity, Sahelian Goatshave medium to large body sizes. The goats are mostly adapted to long-distance trekking for grazing. They are found throughout the Sahel or desert regions of Nigeria. They are found more abundantly in the Sahel part of the country and they have changing coat colors but are usually mixed black, white, and brown. Mature weight range from 25 to 30 kg. The breed is well adapted to nomadic and wide-range grazing. They are meat animals although they can be used for milk and skin production.
Maradi or Red Sokoto Goat
It is found in the Sokoto area of Nigeria and also some parts of the Niger Republic. It has a red color skin coat that is of good quality for leather production. Red Sokoto goats weigh between 20 and 30 kg at maturity. It possesses a red coat and is of good quality for leather production. Also, it is the most well-defined breed in Nigeria.
The Sokoto Red is also called Maradi goat or Kano Brown. It is probably the most widespread and well-known breed in Nigeria. Sokoto Red is the common village goat breed in the northern two-thirds of the country.
West African Dwarf Goat
The West African dwarf goat breed is found in the forest zone of Nigeria. It has short legs that enable them to move under the thick vegetation of the forest region. The color of the coat changes from black to grey to white or multicolored. West African dwarf goat height is about 40 to 50 cm at withers and at maturity weighs between 18 and 20 kg. They can produce twins and the breed is very hardy and resistant to trypanosome.
Process of Starting a Goat Farming in Nigeria
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Here, we discuss step by step process on how to start a goat farm in Nigeria both small scale and commercially.
Step 1) Select a Suitable Farm Location
Selecting suitable land for your goat farm is very important. Some facilities can be important before choosing land for starting goat farming in Nigeria. They are;
- Select a location or land which is not too far from the town.
- Find out carefully if there is another goat farm located or not, near the selected place.
- The place should have to be suitable enough to set up a pasture or grazing place.
- A market near the farmland, so that easily buy necessary equipment.
- Remember that, availability of all types of veterinary services.
- It is a great source of fresh and clean water.
- It must have good transportation facilities with the nearest market or town.
Land location – when you want to get land for your goat farming business, select a location that is good for pasture or grazing. Make sure the location is not far from town or market for easy access. If possible, let there be a market near the farmland, so you can have easy access to get any kinds of equipment you might need.
Step 2) Housing or Shed Management in Goat Farming in Nigeria
To construct a pen for your goat, build one that will shed them from rain and the sun. The selected shed must be well fenced to prevent thieves and burglaries. Also, the pen must be clean, should be free from dampness and well should be well ventilated.
The goat pens should be free from pests and rodents. Always you should use fresh hay or straw for bedding. Also, this helps in making them healthy and active.
Important things to be considered in shed management;
- For protecting goats from cold in the winter season, it is important to be covered the shed with Jute sacks, but at day time except during rainy and cloudy days; and it is hygienic to let the sunlight enter inside the shed by rolling up the sacks.
- At least twice a week, it has to be removed the dung deposited under the goat shed. If dung deposit is not removed from time to time, with the gas emission and filth, it will adversely affect the health, growth, and reproduction capability of goats and it raises the death rate of small kids also.
- Feed containers should be cleaned regularly for goats.
- It has to be applied fencing wires for the safety of goats.
- Also, it has to be disinfected in the shed by limes to control external parasites for goats.
Step 3) Buy the Equipment Needed To Start a Goat Farm
There is some basic equipment needed for goat farming. You will need some important feeding equipment such as feed bowls, lay feeders, mineral feeders, a milk stand, boots, gloves, wheelbarrow, thermometer, and Heat lamps, etc. Just make sure that the necessary equipment is all in place.
Good housing is important towards attaining success and also a factor for profitability in the goat farming business. The housing isn’t cost-bearing as goats adapt well to different environments, but should always have good ventilation and a dry floor. The housing must provide shelter from the sun, rain, and other atmospheric conditions. Extreme temperature levels reduce the productivity of goats. Poor ventilation can allow the circulation of harmful gases which might lead to respiratory problems.
Fencing – This is important, goats being the curious type of animals tend to wander about in herds, and they might end up causing a nuisance to the neighborhood.
Step 4) Feeding Management for Goat Farming
- For maximum production from your goat farming business, goats feed with high-quality, fresh, and nutritious food regularly. Always try to feed your goat’s fresh and nutritious food.
- Most successful commercial goat breeders feed their goats about 12 to 18% protein-containing feed.
- If you can make a good pasture and browsing place for goats, then you can give them less grain. And, always provide hay or green food in abundant supply.
- Add necessary nutrients elements like vitamins, minerals, and salt, etc. And always serve them a sufficient amount of fresh and clean water based on their demand.
Pasture – Making a pasture or grazing place for goats will be a great idea. Then, this will help you to minimize food costs. Also, grazing place helps to keep your goats healthy.
How can I make my goat grow faster?
Feed the goat’s corn or oats. Because of the high carbohydrate content, grains are the easiest way to fatten up a goat, and a goat must receive no more than 1 1/2 pounds of grain per day.
Nutrient Requirement of Goat Farming
Efficient utilization of nutrients mainly depends on an adequate supply of energy, which is of paramount importance in determining the productivity of goats. Nutrients are substances that aid in the support of life for the animal’s growth. The total digestible nutrient (TDN) is a measure of energy and feed quality requirements for low-quality forages contain in 40 to 55% TDN, and concentrate feeds contain from 70 to 90%TDN. Nutrition level mainly determines the growth rate in ruminants. Ruminants with higher growth potential have higher nutritional needs with regards to protein. Small ruminants usually need energy, protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and water. Fiber is essential to maintain a rumen environment and prevent digestive upsets.
Goats must be provided unlimited access to fresh, clean, freely accessible water. Some essential macro minerals such as include calcium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, chloride, sulfur, and magnesium required at 0.1% or more in the diet for goats. Some essential micro minerals (required in parts per million) like manganese, iron, copper, cobalt, zinc, iodine, selenium, and molybdenum.
Consulting Your Veterinary
Firstly, you have to be able to identify the signs of illness in goats, and sorting them out as soon as possible.
Before you can be able to find sick goats you must know their health characteristics first, once you notice any behavioral changes. Some of the important symptoms of a sick goat are diarrhea, coughing, grinding teeth, crusty eyes, not eating or drinking, and pale eyelids, etc. Also, your goat needs tetanus and enterotoxemic vaccinations. All that matters is keeping the goat farm clean, and handling your goat with care.
How Much Water Does A Goat Needs?
Water is very important for goats, and the amount required depends on that needed for the maintenance of normal water balance and to provide for satisfactory levels of production. The normal body water content of the goat changes with age, amount of fat in the body, and environmental temperatures. It can be expected to exceed 60% of the body weight and 75% of the non-bony tissues. Water requirements can be met by free water consumption, but other important sources like the water contained in the feed ingested and metabolic water resulting from oxidation of energy sources.
Generally, goats need 2 to 3 gallons of water daily. Also, a lactating doe requires more than 2 to 3 gallons of water. Goats must be provided unlimited access to fresh, clean water. Goats are the most efficient of domestic animals in their use of water, approaching the camel in their low rate of water turnover per unit of body weight. Goats appear to be less subject to high-temperature stress compared to other species of domestic livestock. Lactation, environmental temperature, amount of exercise, and salt and mineral content of diet are some important factors affecting water intake in goats.
Diseases and their Management for Goat Farming in Nigeria
It is better to start a goat farm during the dry season, as many diseases common with Goats are more prevalent during the wet season. Various diseases that affect Goats include;
- Endo Parasites like Protozoa (Trypanosoma Spp), flatworms, tapeworms, and roundworms
- Ectoparasites like ticks and mites
- Viruses such as foot-and-mouth disease, bluetongue disease, Maedi-visna, orf, tick-borne encephalomyelitis, and goatpox.
- Bacteria problems – blackleg, foot rot, caprine pleuropneumonia and chlamydiosis.
The services of a good veterinarian are employed in treating these goat diseases. The initial capital investment and management constraints associated with such a venture can make the program unattractive. In the interim, improvement of the existing systems must be the main focus, until the technology is ready for intensive production systems.
Signs That Show That Goats Are Sick
- They won’t drink nor eat.
- Kicking their stomach; bloated.
- They will have a cloudy nasal discharge.
- Fever (a Body temperature level above 103.5 indicate fever and a body temperature above 101.5 indicates subnormal temperature)
- Showing symptoms of pain
- They have loose faeces which indicates diarrhea or other types of problems in their bowel movement
- Having a rapid or slow breathing
- Pressing their head against walls
- Their eyelids turn gray
For starting goat farming in Nigeria, select disease-resistant breeds with good tolerance of local weather conditions. Although the animal is tough there is a disease that causes mortality and serious financial loss. Things that mitigate diseases like intensive culture systems, insufficient pasture facilities, and poor health management. Different types of diseases that affect goats are caused by bacteria infections, viral infections endo, and ectoparasitic infections.
Goat Farming Business Cost in Nigeria
Some of the determinants of the actual amount that you will spend in starting a goat farm business include;
- The size of the farm
- Number of goats raising on the farm
- Acquiring a site for your goat pen
- Construction of goat pen
The cost of starting goat farming in Nigeria varies depends on several factors like business registration, fencing, housing, feed, labor, and a good source of water, etc.
You should consider purchasing from 100 goats and above if you intend to start the goat farming business on a large scale. Prices of goats in Nigeria change; small ones are sold between N5,000 and N10,000; medium size goats between N10,000 and N18,000 while the big ones are between N20,000 and N35,000.
Marketing and Special Care for Goat Farming
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Good marketing strategies can maximize your business income. While marketing your goat products, first of all, try local markets. If there are good demands for goat products and a suitable market in the local area, then you will be able to sell products easily. If you can’t sell your products at a reasonable price in the local market and try the international market.
Goats also need some special care and management along with providing good housing, water, and food, etc., for continuous maximum and profitable income. Vaccinate your goats timely is very important for a successful business. Never let them go outside the farm area and always feed them fresh food. Try to avoid used or contaminated food. Take special care to the breeding bucks and does for a successful business. Remember that, keep bucks and does separate from each other. Take special care of the kids for few months and make a report of the total expenditure and income of your farm.
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